Job opportunities for aircraft mechanics should be excellent
for individuals who have completed an Aviation Maintenance
Technician program at an FAA-approved school. Employment
of aircraft mechanics is expected to increase about as fast
the average for all occupations through the year 2012. This
is primarily based on a large number of aircraft mechanics
expected to retire over the next decade and create several
thousand job openings per year. In addition, others will
to work in related fields, such as automobile repair, as
much of their skills are transferable to other maintenance
repair occupations. Also contributing to favorable future
job opportunities for mechanics is the long-term trend towards
fewer students entering technical schools to learn skilled
maintenance and repair trades. Avionics technicians are
to increase at a slower than average rate.
As the economy improves, a growing population should increase
passenger traffic and create the need for more aircraft mechanics
over the next decade. If the number of graduates from aviation
maintenance technician programs continues to fall short of
employer needs, opportunities for graduates of mechanic training
programs should be excellent.
Many of the students who have the ability and aptitude to
work on planes are choosing to go to college, work in computer-related
fields, or go into other repair and maintenance occupations
with better working conditions. If the trend continues, the
supply of trained aircraft mechanics will not be able to keep
up with air transportation industry needs when growth resumes
in the industry.
Job opportunities for aircraft mechanics are expected to vary
among various employers. Opportunities are likely to be best
at the smaller commuter and regional airlines, at FAA repair
stations, and in general aviation. Commuter and regional airlines
are the fastest growing segment of the air transportation
industry, but wages in these companies tend to be lower than
those in the major airlines, so they attract fewer job applicants.
Also, general aviation aircraft are becoming increasingly
sophisticated, boosting the demand for qualified mechanics.
Mechanics will face more competition for jobs with large airlines
because the high wages and travel benefits that these jobs
offer generally attract more qualified applicants than there
are openings. Job prospects will be best for applicants who
have experience. Mechanics who keep abreast of technological
advances in electronics, composite materials, and other areas
will be in greatest demand.
Most airlines and general aviation firms require an A&P
certificate from the FAA. Aircraft mechanics held about 154,000
jobs in 2002; about 1 in 6 of these workers was an avionics
technician. Nearly 40 percent of aircraft mechanics worked
for air transportation companies and close to 20 percent
for private maintenance and repair facilities. About 20 percent
worked for the Federal Government, and about 13 percent worked
for aerospace products and parts manufacturing firms. The
remaining percentage of mechanics worked for companies that
operate their own planes to transport executives and cargo;
and few mechanics and technicians were self-employed.
Most airline mechanics work at major airports near large cities.
Civilian mechanics employed by the U.S. Armed Forces work
at military installations. Large proportions of mechanics
who work for aerospace manufacturing firms are located in
California or in Washington State. Others work for the FAA,
many at the facilities in Oklahoma City, Atlantic City, Wichita,
or Washington, DC. Mechanics for independent repair shops
work at airports in every part of the country.
With an FAA Airframe & Powerplant Certificate, you'll
be eligible to work for a variety of employers such as:
• Airlines (Major, National, Regional, and Scheduled
• Repair stations
• Helicopter operators
• Military aviation
• Government agencies (i.e. Federal Aviation Administration
• Corporate and Charter operators
• Aircraft manufacturers, service and maintenance companies
• Cargo companies
• Flight Schools
• Transportation Companies (Railroad,
• Large businesses with their own fleets of planes
Hiring Requirements for Aircraft Mechanics and Aviation Maintenance
Have a high school diploma or GED
• A & P certificate
• Have work experience
• Have mechanical aptitude
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